As was reported in the September issue of WhatVan? I recently loaned my long-term NP300 Navara to a colleague, Jack Carfrae, who needed its muscle for a spot of heavy-duty house clearing.

Jack was struck by how complimentary the good people of Essex were about the big orange truck as he went about his business.

In my experience, Londoners are not always so thrilled to be sharing their city’s roads with a vehicle with such a substantial footprint. While most are courteous, and after all pick-ups are not an uncommon sight in the capital with the amount of building work going on, some seem to treat the NP300 with the same disdain usually reserved for the even more ubiquitous full-size SUVs, huffing and puffing and blowing their horns when they have to make way in cramped, overcrowded streets.

One citizen, in fact, seemed to have taken such offence to the Navara that I came out one morning to find what at first looked like a key scratch running along the length of its offside. Luckily, with the application of a sponge and a good deal of elbow grease, I was able to remove the offending mark.

But potentially more hazardous is the apparent disregard for their own safety displayed by a good number of cyclists.

Getting on one’s bike undoubtedly provides one of the quickest means of getting about the city, but some bike riders are in such a hurry they think nothing of undertaking at speed on the nearside even when you are indicating to turn left. It is in these situations that the view afforded by the NP300’s plate-sized wing mirrors comes into its own.

I am accustomed to relying on them anyway as vision through the rear-view mirror is not great, and further obscured on my truck by the presence of the otherwise indispensable hard-top load bay cover.

Less impressive is the absence of a grab handle on the driver’s side to ease the steep step up into the cab.

On wet days this can prove to be tricky, as I found to my cost when my foot slipped on the step when I was trying to get inside quickly during a rainstorm, resulting in a painful landing back on the tarmac. It also means having to make a conscious decision not to use the steering wheel as a substitute grab handle as it’s not designed for that purpose.

Mileage 7148
Official fuel consumption 44.1mpg
Our average consumption 29.3mpg
Price (ex VAT) £24,293
Price as tested (ex VAT) £28,097